|Mustangs Fend Off Warriors In Classic Win|
Erica Inge’s three-pointer with 46 seconds left snapped a 49-all tie and The Master’s College hung on to beat William Jessup 54-49 on the first day of the Biola Holiday Classic Tuesday afternoon in La Mirada.
The Mustangs improved to 9-2 with their third win in a row while the Warriors fell to 1-13. The victory capped off a see-saw second half in which the Mustangs trailed by as many as eight points and led by as many as seven.
Inge’s trifecta, her only one of the game, came on the possession following a three-pointer from William Jessup’s Rachelle Russell that knotted the score. The Warriors missed a pair of shots on their next possession and then fouled Lena Rivera who sewed up the decision with a pair of free throws.
The final score and the ebb and flow of the game lent credence to a tougher than expected tilt for the Mustangs. Winners of just one game coming in, the Warriors gave the Mustangs everything they could handle in a back-and-forth first half that featured four ties and three lead changes. The Mustangs led by four points twice while the Warriors’ largest advantage came with a 23-21 lead at halftime.
Over the opening 20 minutes, neither team found the range consistently and both squads wound up shooting below 30% (William Jessup at 29%, TMC at 28.6%).
The momentum from Nicole Aboumrad’s three-pointer that gave the Warriors that two-point lead at the break carried over into the second half, especially for Ashley Rose whose two treys extended the William Jessup lead to 29-21 with 15:51 left to play. It also didn’t hurt the Warrior cause when the Mustangs didn’t score until 5:32 had elapsed in the second half.
Rivera’s jumper at the 14:28 mark not only snapped the scoreless drought but triggered a 13-0 run that gave thought to a blowout. Theresa Brown’s two free throws at the 12:36 mark tied the game at 29, Ella Joines’ jumper put the Mustangs ahead, and a bucket from Morgan Schwegler with 9:35 remaining gave the squad a 36-29 lead.
But, the burst didn’t put the Warriors away as planned. In fact, it only served to snap the visitors from Rocklin out of their own scoring lethargy (7:07 without a point). Spurred by a Rose layup, the Warriors outscored the Mustangs 11-2 over the next 2:26, grabbing a 40-38 lead on an Aboumrad three-pointer with 6:18 left.
The Mustangs bounced back to take the lead on a Brook Bekendam free throw and an Inge layup but the Warriors responded with a Russell three-point play to go back in front 43-41 at the 4:47 mark.
Lindsey Levanen’s jumper tied the game on the next possession but Russell unlocked it one more time with a bomb from behind the arc. Levanen drew the Mustangs to within one (46-45) with another bucket and Rivera, who was perfect from the line in six attempts, pushed the Mustangs back ahead 47-46 on a couple of charity tosses with 2:21 remaining.
Those points were in the middle of a 6-0 Mustang run that Brown capped off with a jumper for a 49-46 advantage with 1:32 left to play. That just prepared the way for a thrilling final minute of play in which Russell, Inge, and Rivera played pivotal roles.
Jessup’s Russell led all scorers with 15 points while Inge and Rivera had 10 apiece to complement Brown’s team-high 13 points. Inge also had a team-high three assists and a game-high three steals.
Next up for the Mustangs at the three-day Biola event is a contest with La Sierra on Wednesday afternoon. The game will tip off at 1:00pm in La Mirada.